Interview: Morten Veland (Sirenia)

Credit: Tom Knudsen
Credit: Tom Knudsen

It’s been a good few weeks for interviews. In fact, we’ve enjoyed it so much that we don’t want to stop, therefore another name goes on the interview list today. Morten Veland of Sirenia. With Seventh Life Path being recently released, their return to Napalm Records and the bands inclusion in a movie soundtrack,  there was plenty to ask about and Morten was more than obliging with his answers.. if not mysterious in relation to question four!

How are you today?

I’m good, thanks. Busy days, but it’s always an interesting period when we just released a new album. It is nice to talk to people about the new album and to get some feedback on it, always interesting to hear what people think about our work.

The album has been out for a few weeks now, how has the reception been?

Most of the reviews I’ve read have been really good, it seems like both the media and the fans like the album. However the new album is a quite intricate one, and I definitely think that it’s needs some time and attention from the listener before they really get into it. If some people should get dissappointed the first time they hear it, that is expected. It is the kind of album that you need to hear at least 4-5 times, from that point it will really start to grow on the listener. At least that’s my personal impression of this album. The album is more advanced and intricate, so it is normal that it would need more time to digest.

Is it how you anticipated the reaction?

Yes, I would say so. More or less.


Seven is a running theme in the album artwork, it’s also included in the title and is the bands seventh album, is there a concept running through the album lyrically that relates to seven also?

I always had a policy to not explain my lyrics or album titles, nor say too much about it. To me it feels like destroying two years of hard work. All the mystery connected to the songs would be torn away in the blink of an eye if I explained what lies behind them. I always preferred to leave it up to the listeners to figure out the words of the songs. But it is the case that I choose to make an album title to mark that it also is our seventh album to date.

How was the writing and recording for The Seventh Life Path?

All the song material is written by me as always, and I have developed my way of working over the years. I always discover some new things or technices along the way, but the basics are more or less the same. At this point I try to write albums that has all the elements of our style, by that I mean that I try to capture our old sound, our recent sound and in addition I always try to add some new stuff. I always preferred to work alone when I compose, as I always felt that was the only way I could really give 100%. I easily get distracted and lose focus when composing with others. I need to be in a certain mode when composing, and I can only enter this mode when I am alone.

Regarding the vocals; Ailyn and I usually work together though. I always write her melodies and lyrics at first, but next we come together and go through everything to see if there is certain things we can improve. In addition Jan Erik also had some inputs to the music which was cool. He listens to music which is quite different to what I usually make, so he helped out with some nice variations. Most of the album was recorded in my own studios here in Stavanger, at the south-west coast of Norway. We did some additional recordings in Sound Suite Studios in Marseille as usual. We recorded the choirs and the acoustic guitars there. And finally the album was mixed and mastered by Endre Kirkesola at Dub Studios, Norway. We actually followed the same precidure as we did on our previous album Perils of the Deep Blue.

Video for Once My Light

This is the first album to be released via Napalm in over a decade, did this effect the writing in anyway?

No, I don’t think that the change of label had any direct influence on the songwriting process. I have always had full artistic freedom with both Napalm and Nuclear, so I always could write exactly the kind of album that I wanted. And that’s the way it has to be for me, I would not be able to work in any other way.

You provide so much of the instrumentation, is there ever a risk of burn out in the studio? How do you avoid it?

Hehe, Yes, there is always a risk of burning out, and I kind of feel the pressure more and more with every album. Most of the pressure I put on myself actually, I am my own worst critic when it comes to my music, I demand a lot of myself. It is important to find a few breaks inbetween to gain new energy and inspiration. Wine is also a great cure for stress. hehe

Ducere me in lucem is featuring in an upcoming movie, would you like to pen a track specifically for a movie in the future? Or provide an atmospheric soundtrack?

Yes, it is something that I always were interested in doing, it would be a cool challenge for sure. New musical projects and challenges are always welcome, it is always cool to work with stuff that its a bit different than what I do normally.

With the type of music Sirenia plays, can you see yourselves mounting theatrical one off events in the future with choirs, orchestras etc?

I can definitely see that as a cool project to do in the future. But a production like that would cost a fortune, so I doubt that it would be possible financially.

What does Sirenia have planned for the rest of 2015?

Promoting the new album first and foremost, doing interviews and playing the summer festivals. In between all this I always spend time in the studio as well working out new ideas and composing material for the next album. We also aim to set up some longer tours early next year.

Our thanks to Morten for his time. Remember to like the band on Facebook for updates, you can get a copy of the new album along with merchandise here

Follow us on Twitter: @SoundTheCharge_


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